The LimeWire trial for copyright infringement starts on Tuesday, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) squaring off against LimeWire in a lawsuit that will determine how much LimeWire owes in damages.
A likely number for damages that has been floated around is $150,000 per infringing song, but that would leave LimeWire responsible for over a billion dollars, as the RIAA is claiming that almost 10,000 copyrighted recordings were exchanged through its P2P network.
The LimeWire shut down happened as a result of the court case that ended in May of 2010, in which U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ruled that LimeWire and Mark Gorton had committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition and induced users to commit copyright infringement with the software. Warner Bros, Arista, Capitol Records and more (13 in total) claimed that LimeWire users were able to exchange copies of their copyrighted recordings.
LimeWire enabled its users to search for music and other content via the Bittorrent and Gnutella networks. By some counts, LimeWire had as many as 50 million users. This represents another blow for so-called "freeloaders," as users who seek out free downloads on the Internet are sometimes called. The shut down of both Pirate Bay and OiNK essentially offered the same blow.
LimeWire was even resurrected by a secret dev team last year, it what was know as LimeWire Pirate Edition. Not only did Sarah Palin go rogue, but an unknown group of developers also made it hip to rogue.
This meant that the Gnutella-based network had officially gone rogue and disconnected from the MotherShip, and was virtually unstoppable since the LimeWire network is now formed ad-hoc by anyone using the LimeWire software.